Castellanos: ‘No excuses, but missing Bryce Harper does hurt'


Hurry back, Bryce Harper.

The Phillies are 0-2 without you.

And they’re riding a 16-inning scoring drought.

The Phils opened a six-game homestand with a 3-0 loss to the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night. They have not scored a run since putting four on the board in the second inning of Sunday’s game against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Phils blew a late 4-2 lead and lost that game, 5-4, in the ninth. Harper did not play because he had a medical procedure performed on his injured right elbow earlier that day. He is expected to return to the lineup, as the designated hitter, Wednesday or Thursday.

After scoring seven runs per game and pounding out 31 extra-base hits in seven games (five wins) out West, the Phils had just five singles against Mike Clevinger, MacKenzie Gore and Taylor Rogers on Tuesday night.

Clevinger allowed just one hit over five walk-free innings.

Was the inability to get anything going more a matter of what Clevinger did or what the Phillies hitters did not do?

“I would say it was a combination of both,” Nick Castellanos said. “Definitely just felt overall a little bit flat. I don’t know if it was from the long travel and then the off day, but you also have to give it to Cleavinger because he has good stuff. Then Gore came in next and obviously he’s not bad either."

Castellanos was asked if the travel back from the West Coast sapped some of the Phillies’ momentum.

“Obviously, it plays a part but I’m not the kind of guy that’s going to make excuses,” he said. “We have to be better than that. We’re all professionals. We lost. We lost today.”

Castellanos had two of the Phillies’ five hits.

Clearly, the offense misses Harper, who was named National League Player of the Week on Monday after hitting .609 with six doubles, three homers, eight RBIs and a 1.261 OPS.

It’s a big loss. The last two games have shown that.

“Again, I don’t want to say, ‘Well, we can’t win unless he’s playing,’ because everyone in this clubhouse is capable of playing well,” Castellanos said. “But missing a guy who just won Player of the Week hitting .600 does hurt.

“Bigger picture, we need him to be healthy and good and feeling right. So, he has to handle his (injury) stuff."

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